Obama’s visit grounds hot air balloons at Earth Day picnic

President Barack Obama‘s visit this weekend means there will be no hot air balloon rides at RiverLink’s Earth Day picnic Saturday, April 24. Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration cancelled the activity.

“Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration pulled the plug on the flights, even though the balloons were to remain tethered and not rise more than 100 feet above the ground at Carrier Park,” according to an announcement from RiverLink today.

The announcement was quick to note that the picnic is still on from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and, in addition to other activities, “There will be kite-flying (unless objections are heard from Homeland Security and the FAA).”

For RiverLink’s full release, click here.

— David Forbes, senior reporter


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14 thoughts on “Obama’s visit grounds hot air balloons at Earth Day picnic

  1. Chad Nesbitt


    I’m interested in what else will be closed or stopped because the president is coming.
    Do you have any idea?

  2. hauntedheadnc


    I’m interested in what else will be closed or stopped because the president is coming.
    Do you have any idea? [/i]

    It’s okay, Chad. It was just an Earth Day event after all and as we all know, Earth Day is a satanic liberal plot. Get out there today and litter for Jesus!

  3. zulu

    It’s probably going to be a moot point. Saturday is supposed to be stormy, so balloons would have been grounded anyway. I wonder if POTUS will spend his weekend elsewhere if the forecast holds? I know golf at the Grove Park was on his agenda- Secret Service was crawling all over that course this afternoon checking it out.

  4. dcalloway

    lol chad love you to death. but this guy comming to asheville is a joke . we do not need this .to pff …… you say democracy freedom and liberty please for real it was earth day here in asheville but we had to shut it all down for him get real.

  5. Piffy!

    It would be interesting to read a story that gives some context to ten different Presidential visits to the Grove Park.

  6. Save-GA

    This is another example of the restrictions that are placed on commerce and aviation operations when Temporary Flight Restrictions are put in place during VIP visits. These restrictions close airspace from the surface to 18000 MSL in up to a 30 nautical mile radius and result in the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue to aviation businesses in the affected areas. This, despite the fact that a Government study has found General Aviation to not constitute a threat to national security. The technical restrictions vary by TFR but generally include model rocketry, balloon flying, parachuting, non IFR traffic, unscheduled flights (with exceptions for medical and law enforcement) flight instruction, and other activities. These restrictions are levied on American citizens, resulting in deprivation of income and livelihood, without due-process review or probable cause and are an unfortunate knee-jerk outcome from the days directly following September of 2001. It is time this issue is reviewed and corrected as it does nothing to increase security and is impacting an industry already struggling in an economy and political environment that has resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. GA in the U.S. contributes 1.3 million jobs and $150 billion to our economy. Lets stop needless limitations that impact our economy and the livelihoods of small businesses. Lets stop the use of blanket TFRs and reduce their size when they are used.

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